Category Archives: Opinion

Parent Pickup Creates Parking Lot Hazard

by Evan Swearingen – Staff Writer

Every day can be a struggle for students who need a parent to pick them up. Parents’ schedules can sometimes be unreliable, and so can the places where they wait to pick up their kids. However, there is a solution—at least to the second problem.

Parents typically park on the red curb outside of the 1900 building. While this seems like a convenient place to pick up students after school, in reality it presents a danger to the safety of student drivers who try to drive out of the parking lot every day. It creates blind spots and narrows the lane into a two-way street with only one car’s width of space in which to drive down.

I had to drive two (occasionally four) students home every day in November. I specifically remember getting into my car with my regular two other students, my sister and my neighbor, and I drove to peek out past the cars that were parked on the red curb near the 1900 building. As soon as I saw past the cars parked on the curb, I saw a bus coming straight down the lane, and my car was so far into the lane that it was going to hit me. I put my car into reverse, and nearly let go of the brake before realizing that there was a car directly behind me, and I couldn’t go backwards without hitting them. Fortunately for me, the bus only came inches from hitting the hood of my car. While this story ended up with a safe outcome, it had the potential to end disastrously. This risk would not have even been presented if parents did not park illegally at the red curb in the parking lot.

The fact that it is illegal is perhaps the worst part. In Washington state, it is illegal to stop, stand, or park a vehicle next to a red curb—even if there is a driver in the car. There is a convenient—and legal—place to pick up and drop off students, conveniently called the student

pick-up and drop-off zone. By car, it’s the third left on Falcon way, and by foot, it’s right up the stairs outside of the front door. It is actually closer on foot to walk to the pick-up and drop-off section than to walk all the way out to the 1900 building. It is not convenient to be picked up near the 1900 building. Use the pick-up and drop-off area.

Students Mourn H: Drive Loss

by Fiona Higgins – Opinion Editor

Student information and document storage may come and go, but one will always stand above the rest; the H: Drive. Unfortunately, it has been unceremoniously yanked from under Kentlake student’s feet.

At the beginning of the year, student’s laptops began opening a popup every few hours, urging us to make an account on OneDrive if we have not already. Many of us were confused. Why would we want to do that when we have a perfectly good H: Drive? Documents there stay forever, and you can access your H: Drive from any computer you want. It was easy to get to. However, it quickly became clear why we were being pushed to open a OneDrive account; our H: Drives have been deactivated.

For any dismayed students who have somehow missed this bit of information, rest assured, anything you left there last year is still there. You can still open the documents saved there. But, the moment you try to save anything to it now, you will receive a notification: “You don’t have permission to save in this location. Contact the administrator to obtain permission. Would you like to save in the Documents folder instead?”

Most of us would reply “No, why would we?” The H: Drive is secure, but Documents are definitely not. Saving in documents is taking a risk that a computer problem could wipe out all of the work you have there, as well as documents being wiped every single year when you turn in laptops. Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice in the matter anymore. Right now, you have three options: The desktop, your Documents, or OneDrive.

After two months of living without our H: Drives, those of us who went through all of high school with them are more than a little peeved. The H: Drive was convenient, but OneDrive requires lots of navigations and opening new tabs. It feels like more of a lengthy process.

At the same time, teachers seem to be trying to phase out the S: Drive, where they have previously saved all of their notes, and where we used to turn things in. A few teachers are hanging on, and students with those teachers typically really appreciate it. But for many, they are making an about-face towards Canvas, another site that many students really dislike. In the hands of a teacher who really knows their way around it, it is at least tolerable, even with its confusing navigation, but anyone who is not sure of what they are doing can easily leave a class confused or frustrated because they are not able to turn in assignments on time, whether it be an unpublished assignment or an unpublished whole module.

We tried OneDrive. It works, but we all use it begrudgingly. Ask almost anyone, and they will tell you that they want the H: Drive back. It is more readily available, and much less risky -and less annoying- than many of our other options.

New Apple Emoji Signals Nationwide Acceptance

by Harris Yun – Staff Writer

Apple recently released the list of new emojis to be added in their next iOS update, iOS 11.1. Included on the list is the return of the vomit emoji, which was removed early last year (to much dismay), and the introduction of what people are already calling the ‘Colbert emoji’, a face with one eyebrow raised in classic Stephen Colbert fashion. Other emoji added include a T. rex, the orange heart, and ‘I love you’ in sign language. Most important, however is the inclusion of three gender-neutral emoji and a woman wearing a hijab.

As America becomes increasingly divided, this is extremely important. Islamophobia is at an all time high, and the transgender question is slowly becoming more and more relevant on the country’s social agenda. With the recent ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, it’s more important than ever that we as a country show our support for those who struggle with their gender identity. Similarly, while attitudes towards muslims are gradually becoming more and more extreme, in some cases even inciting hate crimes, the inclusion of a hijab-wearing woman is an encouraging signal that muslims are slowly becoming more integrated into American society and are being seen as part of America, instead of temporarily-sheltered strangers.

Some people might scoff, asking “what’s the big deal? They are just pictures…” but in reality, this is extremely important. Sure, they might be small symbols that people probably will not ever use, but the fact that they have even been included is a strong signal that America is finally ready to accept these often marginalized groups. They are pushing the idea that muslim and transgender individuals are part of mainstream society, and that they should be included in everything, even something as small as a choice of what emoji you use in a small text message. It is not a big step, but it is a step in the right direction – an America where everybody is treated equally, not just in theory, but in reality.

Gun Control Remains Issue in America Today

by Cooper Lewis – Photographer

Gun control and whether we should have it or not has been an issue for a long time now. Guns, as everybody knows by now, are dangerous weapons and have been a part of many deaths and injuries in the U.S. and around the world.

Places like Australia have completely banned guns from citizen use after a mass shooting. In 1996, a 28-year-old man named Martin Bryant started the deadliest mass shooting in Australia. Bryant was caught the next day, but by then 35 people had been killed, 23 left wounded.

People make the argument that since then there has been little to no crime in Australia since, and because of the lack of violence the U.S. should ban guns. While gun control should definitely exist and the purchasing and trading of guns should be looked at and kept strict, guns should not be completely banned.

Guns are the most popular weapons used for murder among both men and women, but it is not really the gun that kills. It is the person. If a person really wanted to kill someone, they would. Whether guns are banned or not, that person has the intent to kill. They will find a way to get what they want. Poisons, knives, even a person’s brute strength as well, are all different forms that one could easily use to kill someone. By taking the publics rights to guns away, it is just putting them in danger. Sure, there are other weapons that could help them defend themselves, but just like guns are the most efficient for murder, they are also the most efficient for protection.

On top of that, even after guns are banned, criminals can still get ahold of them, the same way people still get ahold of drugs and the same way teenagers get ahold of alcohol. There is never a completely sufficient way to get rid of something and guns are no exceptions.

So in the end, guns are just an object. It would be a waste of the government’s and people’s time to completely ban guns. Instead, gun control should be kept strict so less people with bad intentions can get ahold of them.

Kentlake’s Silent Killer: Styrofoam

by Elizabeth Gerken – Staff Writer

If you get lunch here at Kentlake, you probably get a Styrofoam tray with your lunch. This has been the case since middle school, or even earlier for many of us, but should it be? It turns out that, no, it really should not. Styrofoam lunch trays are perhaps the worst option for student’s health, the planet and Kentlake’ s wallet.

Styrofoam as a material is notoriously toxic by nature. It is made from a form of petroleum which is turned in to massive amounts of greenhouse gas during production thus contributing to the global issue of climate change. After production and use the Styrofoam is thrown into the garbage because it cannot be recycled or composted in most cases, and in the landfill, it takes 500 years to decompose at the least according to the Future Center Trust, a nongovernmental environmental education and protection organization in Barbados.

Along with being an environmental hazard, it is also hazardous to our health. Styrofoam, or polystyrene, contains the chemical styrene which is a neurotoxin that, when in contact with warm or greasy food, breaks down and absorbs into the food. Once the styrene is consumed it is absorbed by the fatty tissues in your brain. Styrene has been linked to depression, vision, hearing loss, and even cancer in some animals. Although the amount that is present in cafeteria pizza when people eat it is small, constant exposure can still lead to health issues.

With all these negative effects on the environment and on people you would think it would be cheap but in fact it is the opposite. A pack of 500 lunch trays costs around 33 dollars depending on where you buy it from. This seems like a good deal but if you take into account that you have to buy enough for all 1501 students at Kentlake for all 180 days of the school year, that price jumps to $17,820 dollars a year just on Styrofoam lunch trays.

All these factors are cause for a switch to something a little more sustainable, less toxic and less expensive. Reusable plastic lunch trays. Even though plastic is still not as clean as some other materials, it is the least expensive of all the other options and would require the least amount of modification to the current lunch routine. Plastic trays do not have the negative effects that styrene does on the food and the consumer, and they are reusable and recyclable if need be. Most plastic lunch trays cost around $1.50 a piece, which sounds expensive, but when you consider the fact that they are reusable and only need to be purchased every few years if that, they come in at $2,251.50 for 1501 lunch trays, one for every student. The school could even go out and get an additional 500 and the total price would be $3,000.00.

The one downside to the plastic trays is the fact that they must be washed. Depending on the dishwasher, the price varies but for a industrial door type washing machine it takes 1 hour to wash approximately 1,800 trays using 4 gallons for every 18 trays at $00.16 per gallon witch adds up to about $53.76 a day and $9,000.00 per year. While this is still a pretty large expense, it is still $8,820 less per year, which in the long run would be significantly cheaper than the Styrofoam alternative, and does not have the health hazards cause a decrease in the environmental damage.

Next time you pick up a Styrofoam lunch tray with your cafeteria nachos or pizza, ask yourself, if we could be doing better, why aren’t we?

“Me Too” Movement Reaches Thousands

by Elijah Monuteaux – Staff Writer

A woman named Tarana Burke sat with a thirteen-year-old girl who had previously been sexually assaulted. Listening to her story of the events left Tarana speechless, and after this conversation the “Me too” movement was born. Intended originally for girls of color who had been sexually harassed or assaulted, it is now I more broad movement. It’s been about ten years since the “Me too” movement began, and sexual assaults have not been a huge part of the worlds conversations at all, but now it seems as if it is becoming more common to speak out about. This is a good thing.

Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment has seemed to set off a ripple effect across the country by triggering the “Me too” movement. Although it was started many years ago it became popular in the span of a few days. Many male celebrities have been found guilty, or have been accused of sexual assaults. This is not to say that male celebrities are predators or that males in general are. This is not a male thing, female thing, Hollywood thing, or political thing. It happens everywhere, every day.

Objectification is key to why a lot of these assaults have happened. Objectification is degrading someone or something to the status of a mere object. In this case women have been objectified. It is one thing to want a bigger, and faster car. It is a total different thing to turn a human being into an object for one’s satisfaction. Objectification for something that is obviously an object is not bad, but objectifying a human being and then harming that person is. Those are two entirely different situations.

Another good point to why this is happening is the fact that girls are taught from a young age that boys are stronger. This seems to be a part of why female victims of sexual assault find it hard to speak out about it. It is important now that since we have people speaking out about it in numbers that everyone takes advantage and speaks out.

Therefore the “Me Too” movement is very meaningful. It is standing for something that needs awareness. Many female celebrities began to start sharing their stories of encounters with Weinstein, and as soon as this happened an uproar on social media of hundreds of women sharing their stories set off the “Me too” movement to more than just and activist’s dream to raise awareness.

Pros vs. Cons: Thanksgiving Edition

Pro: Thanksgiving is Important in This Society

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Writer

America has a view of a traditional family Thanksgiving, everyone gathered around the table, with dad about to carve the turkey. Pure happiness, right? But let me be the one to tell you (if you have not figured it out by now) that not everyone has that perfect family. We live in a country that is diverse and different, which is really important to our society as a whole. I am here to tell you that thanksgiving is still important no matter who you are, how weird your family is, or what you believe.

Although in elementary school we were told it all started with the pilgrims coming to America and meeting the Indians and eating all sorts of delicious food together (though this is far from reality), I believe that the values of the holiday itself are even more important that the history. We as a society and a world tend to focus on the negative. Just look at the news; maybe every 15th story is something positive, but the rest is depressing and is designed to make you feel hopeless.

Thanksgiving is not only a time to stuff yourself with all sorts of carbs and food and watch football, but a time to appreciate all that we have. Whether it be you are grateful for your new iPhone 8, or your just happy that your mom is your mom, its important to remember these things in order to stay sane.

So let us think of Thanksgiving not as an ancient tradition, but as a time to eat food and love life.

Con: Thanksgiving’s Men, Myths, and Legends

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

As the holiday approaches, many are excited to eat a homecooked meal, spend time with their families, and enjoy the festive fall decorations that adorn many homes and neighborhood. However, think of this, Thanksgiving was taught and created from a lie.

The origins of the holiday are not based off the common idea that the pilgrims and the Native Americans came together and had a giant feast and lived in harmony therefore after. The holiday’s origins actually have nothing to do with the United States at all. It is a hybrid of a three-day Pagan Harvest Festival where they celebrated the good harvest, and a Christian religious holiday where they thank God for all the gifts that he has blessed in their lives. This hybridization along with the myth of the “Great Feast” has placed us in the religious fat fest that thanksgiving is today.

Thanksgiving itself wasn’t made a national holiday until 1863 when Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” that was to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. (history.com) As Thanksgiving is blatantly a Christian holiday ignoring the separation of church as state, and not taking into consideration that others who are not Christian do not celebrate it. Therefore, making it a national holiday is being inconsiderate of those who do not share the Christian faith.

With the basic idea of thanksgiving being that you are supposed to be spending time with your family and friends and thinking of everything that you must be thankful for how did it morph into eating dinner at 4 pm and lining up outside the door of your favorite store or mall for hours just so that you can get the TV of your dreams for a slightly discounted price. With 23% of all shoppers camping out before the clock strikes midnight to get into the stores first according to statistic brain. Thanksgiving has become almost solely about food and fighting for the death for a sale. Without remembering the true purpose of Thanksgiving, bringing people together, then the holiday will continue to be used for capitalistic purposes.

Mike Pence’s Negative LGBTQ Reputation Plummets

by Joshua Manning – Staff Writer

Mike Pence has had quite the negative reputation with the LGBTQ community. These relations have been called into question again as Donald Trump, according to two different sources, called out Mike Pence as an untrustworthy source for information on gay rights, as he told a legal scholar that Pence wants to “hang them all”. Mike Pence and the Whitehouse denied this statement, with Mike Pence stating that “Articles like this are why the American People have lost so much faith in the press.”

Regardless of whether the claims are true, one must call into question the regrettable past that the vice president has had with the LGBTQ community. When Pence was a governor of Indiana, he openly opposed the gay marriage act and made it legal for people to cite their religion as reason to deny service to gay or transgender people. A prime example of this legislation being abused was when a bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding in 2012. Pence’s homophobia goes all the way back to 2000 when he fought against the non-discrimination laws and campaigned against gay marriage. But perhaps the most indefensible of all is his historic connection to the advocacy of conversion therapy. Not only has conversion therapy been deemed a “pseudoscientific” practice by many notable scientists and neurologists, but it has also been debunked by the American medical establishment and denounced by LGBTQ groups.

Donald Trump has been more accepting of the LGBTQ community than most would have expected what with him stating at the Republican National Convention that he “will do everything to protect the LGBTQ citizens.” However, this also raises the question of why someone who is allegedly pro-LGBTQ would choose a running mate who has the history that he has when it comes to these issues.

Even with all these issues in mind, we cannot assume that Pence said these things for sure. As far as anyone knows, nobody but Trump has claimed that Pence has said that he wants to “hang gay people”. With midterm elections fast approaching, however, one must consider what these things could mean for the government. History has shown us that during midterms the president’s party will almost always lose seats in Congress and the opposing party will almost always become stronger. This weakening of the current political party in Congress could be made worse due to these issues. Situations like these will no doubt make the public believe in the government less due to the government officials giving contradictory statements about one another. But as far as an actual full impeachment like some have posited, only time will tell if that will be a reality.

Kimmel Exploits Public Emotion for Late Night Politics

by Vitaliy Berezhnyy – Staff Writer

Jimmy Kimmel used to be funny. Nowadays, he’s assumed the mantle of late-night moral-authority, blaming second-amendment supporters for mass shootings, praising Canada and England for “figuring out” healthcare, and working with Chuck Schumer to produce political commentary. I’m going to focus on just the first issue, as it is the most recent one.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Kimmel gave a monologue where he called for gun law reform; for “political debate”. His speech was full of factual errors, so let’s look over the most glaring ones. According to Kimmel, there are “loopholes in the law that let people avoid background checks… if they buy a gun online or at a gun show.” That is objectively false. Nowhere in the U.S. can you go to a gun show and purchase a gun without going through a background check, and the same goes for buying weapons online. All it takes is a simple google-search to find this out, but I digress.

The NRA lobbied for people on the no-fly list to be able to purchase guns. “Who thinks that makes sense?” Kimmel said. I do, and here’s why; the no-fly list has people on it that are false positives—people with similar sounding names as someone who is already on the list—and, as long as they go through a background check like everyone else, why shouldn’t they be able to purchase a gun? The no-fly list is an inaccurate way to judge who should and should not own a gun.

Kimmel then goes on to say that no American citizen needs “an M-16 or 10 of them.” Very few civilians own M-16s. As they are fully automatic (meaning multiple bullets fire by holding the trigger), you need to purchase them from dealers with class-three licenses, of which there aren’t many, and the guns themselves are expensive. Besides, there have been a total of ZERO mass shootings using automatic weapons in the U.S., and mass shootings themselves only constitute 0.3% of all gun homicides.

There were more factual errors in his monologue, but here’s the bottom line; this was not the time to talk policy. Throwing blame that early, without knowing the whole story, and proposing policy without having the facts straight, is unwise. This time would have been better spent gathering information. Once you have all the information, then you can reflect and analyze. Then, and only then, can you review the situation without the variable of emotion. Kimmel could have done a much better job, if he had waited longer to give his take on the event.

Claims of “Digital Blackface” Cause Divide

by Jason Thiel – Staff Writer

Nowadays, tons of people use emojis and gifs, thanks to the revolutionary era of smartphones and the internet. New chatting services and apps like Snapchat and Facebook have paved the way for the use of emojis, gifs, and other forms of online expression. These seem quite harmless and comedic, as people use them to enhance comedy with their friends as well as just express emotions. Even then, people have found ways to turn this into a controversy. There have been diversity quarrels over the colors of the emojis, and the ratio of dark to light-skinned emojis that are available. None, however, have been more embarrassing and disturbing than the idea of digital blackface.

Digital blackface, according to a video put out by BBC News, is the idea that by using emojis and gifs of black people in a joke, you are being racist in a similar manner to when white actors would put on “blackface” to portray a black person in a comedic way. Now, yes, I suppose it’s fair to say that using a gif with a black person to enhance your comedy can be using a black person in a comedic way. But, where the difference lies is in that people use those gifs and emojis without regard to color. For instance, a funny gif of Kevin Hart doing something is used for comedic purposes, as he’s a funny and popular comedian, in the same respect as a funny gif of Tom Hanks or some other famous white celebrity could be used to enhance a joke.

Now, you can totally make an argument that because of certain aspects of racism throughout history, blacks and whites have become so culturally different that they are represented differently in gifs. The comedy of blacks is different than whites and thus the issue isn’t in using the gifs, it goes much deeper. Anyone can use a gif to back up a racist comment, but at the end of the day, it’s the comment that’s racist, not the gif.

This whole argument about digital blackface in gifs and emojis is an example of the cult of outrage that is causing so many problems. The radical left cannot continue to be hypersensitive to cultural appropriation and racism, causing them to start drama over meaningless objects and topics, which destroys their cause and their argument by making all feminists and civil rights advocates look like “triggered snowflakes.” Does that mean we should ignore actual cultural appropriation and racism? Absolutely not, but getting mad at hula dolls and black emojis isn’t the way to make you look like an advocate for racial equality, it makes you and your whole political look like idiots.